Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Reading Aloud to Kids

 Next Wednesday is WORLD READ ALOUD DAY.

If you're a teacher or a librarian and haven't scheduled a free Skype reading by one of your favorite authors, next year be sure to check Kate Messner's post about it. 

I suspect most of her list has already filled their slots. But if you hurry on up to that link, there could be a few left.

I'm really excited about reading to kids, always one favorite part about being a school librarian. I'm choosing my WRAD selections and thinking hard about what book to pick.

And today I found what could well be my favorite statement about the joy of reading aloud. 
 I absolutely adore the blogpost from Colby Sharp.

Something that should be framed and hung or at the very least needle-pointed and turned into a pillow:

"The next day we once again met at the carpet for read aloud. Our days can be a little crazy at times, but this is one appointment we never miss."

CLICK RIGHT HERE to see what Colby did to mix Winn-Dixie and Willy, two of my very favorite dogs in kids' books. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Stone Soup

When you write a book-- for what seems like ages!-- it goes out into the world with a wing and a prayer. Writers hope their words will be read, but you have no assurance.

The reviews come in- some great, some so-so, some even disheartening. But nobody loves every single book, so we authors develop a thick skin.

Then you get word that the perfect young reader has loved yours. And she shared what she thought about it. That makes every single moment of research, writing, re-writing, hand-wringing and re-writing some more totally worth every minute.

This review is copyrighted by the magazine. It will appear in the March issue of STONE SOUP.

When I was a school librarian, this was a magazine my students read, enjoyed, and even contributed to a few times. Soon, you'll be able to read the content online. It's a terrific place for budding young authors. It's a great place for all authors.

(If you click on the page images below, it's easier to read.) 

I was going to include a few of Lena's sentences, but I couldn't choose. They are all so heartfelt, wonderfully written and descriptive. Thank you for possibly the best review anybody has every written of my book.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Things I Love

Yes, I know, all that hoopla about creative people working in messy spaces. Those researchers obviously didn't consult anyone who'd wanted to be a librarian since she was in fifth grade.

We recently closed up our place in New Jersey. Packed a few boxes that I couldn't live without. Offloaded some stuff. 
But I don't work well in messes. So I'm delighted to have unpacked THE LAST BOX. And even more delighted with my beautiful new bulletin board. 
Full of things I love (Thanks, Jay!).

You can't read this in the photo, but there's a little corner, bottom left, full of writing advice-- and life advice!-- mostly scribbled while talking to my brilliant editor over these past almost six years we've been together.

Usually we're talking so fast and I'm writing editorial notes and trying to answer thoughtfully and wisely. But even over lunch, she says smart things I want to remember. 

Here are a few from my beautiful blue bulletin board. 
From Andrea and other sage writers and editors.

What's the page turn?
Create oh-my-gosh moments.

I call that the "glittery hand of God."
(from the very first time my new editor and I talked on the phone and I told her about our connections)

Read each chapter and look for small astonishments. (Joyce Sweeney workshop)

You can never go home again, but the truth is you never leave home, so it's all right. 
 (Maya Angelou)

If anybody cares, also pictured is a card from the Rose Window at the National Cathedral sent by a friend, after my daughter's wedding. A photo my brother book of our daddy's fishing camp on Lake Beulah, MS. The Blue Angels. The Eiffel Tower. A beautiful postcard from the Rothko exhibit in Houston (thanks, Kirby). My 2016 Quaker Motto Calendar. A photo from my 4th birthday...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Historical Fiction...

Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it.


 (My thought for the day...)

Maybe writing with quill and ink will speed things along?